What does the National Curriculum say about History?
The national curriculum for England describes the purpose of History as:
A high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.
How do we teach History in School?
At Hetton Lyons Primary School we are passionate about the teaching of History. We understand studying history gives children the opportunity to develop an understanding of why the world and its people are the way they are today. Additionally, it prompts children to question as they explore the diversity of human experience, past lives and societies. Local history is important to us and our curriculum has been carefully crafted to ensure children across the school can experience and evaluate the rich history of Hetton. We always strive to provide stimulating experiences, ensuring that field trips are part of the history curriculum wherever possible or that experts are invited into school to work with the children. We aim to secure a balanced history curriculum so that teaching and learning includes both core knowledge (facts, vocabulary and names) and skills (chronology understanding, understanding of events and changes that happened in the past and historical interpretation and enquiry).
What skills are covered during lessons?
We aim to engage our pupils through carefully planned topics that are creative and well-integrated into the wider curriculum. Children will be taught to gather, use and communicate information, especially through fieldwork. They will learn how to interpret primary and secondary sources, for example census materials, diaries, audio and video recordings, photographs, artefacts books and historical Information from programmes such as the BBC, evaluating their usefulness and reliability. They will learn how to communicate historical facts and interpretations in a variety of ways, including the use of timelines to order events and make comparisons and links to different periods previously studied, handling artefacts and using the correct historical terms.
How is progression achieved?
We have a long term plan that details the progression expected across the year groups. This enables pupils to develop historical thinking and skills in a structured way. Children will move from learning about their own community within memory in KS1 and then prehistoric to eventually 200 years of Hetton. British history is taught in chronological order so children are able to make links between the different periods studied and it helps place their learning within the ‘bigger picture.’ They will learn how modern day society has been shaped by our past.